imac 2017 - Video card and RAM questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Asianpork, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. Asianpork macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    #1
    I don't plan to game at all or do any VR related things.

    My primary usage will be of the following programs:

    Adobe suite - Illustrator, Photoshop, After effects, Premiere
    Final Cut Pro
    Logic

    All video or photo related work.

    So, should I save money and go with the 575 4gb video card? I'll be bumping up to the i7 processor and, obviously, i'd love to get the 580, but do I even need it?

    Secondly: Is the RAM still user up-gradable in the new imacs? I figured if i get the fastest processor and bump the RAM up to 32GB then I don't need the fastest GPU. AFAIK, the above mentioned programs aren't the most GPU heavy, but more CPU and RAM heavy.

    Thank you for any help. You guys are far more knowledgeable about this stuff than I.
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2

    Actually, After Effects, Premiere, Final Cut, and basically all video stuff (and some photo stuff), is extremely GPU intensive. more so than CPU. Any day, I would say that if you work with video, upgrade the GPU before you upgrade the CPU. Music and photos, sure, CPU, but video, get a better GPU.
    RAM is still upgradeable in the 27" non-Pro.

    Do you want to do 4k stuff? Work in Resolve? Lots of effects? The more compositing and effect work you do, the more useful a good GPU is.
     
  3. epca12 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I think the 27" graphics card differences are more bigger than the lower end cards. It might be worth getting the 580 but there is always external graphics in the future - I believe Nvidia is better with Adobe apps. Ram is still upgradeable
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #4
    Just compared the data of the two cards, and I'd call the differential quite substantial.

    37% faster floating point operations, not to mention other logic benefits on the GPU, the benefit of the 580 vs the 575 are way bigger than the upgrade to the i7 in all video related tasks within the Adobe Suite and Final Cut Pro.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Asianpork thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    #5
    Awesome. Good to know. Yes, resolve work and eventually 4K. I want this imac to last me 6-7 years so 580 it is. Thank you.
     
  6. epca12 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I agree that it's worth stepping up the graphics card. Especially with a 5K display to run as well, I remember hearing complaints of the first gen stuttering sometimes
     
  7. Asianpork thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    #7
    Good point. I run a 4k monitor through my 2015 13" base MBP and it leaves little power for anything photoshop related. Working on large raw files brings the MBP to its knees.
     
  8. epca12 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Yeah, i tried the mid model with a 575 in store yesterday and it seemed very smooth even with demanding tasks, but that wasn't a real use test and going for the 580 will be best especially with the gains over the 575
     
  9. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #9
    See, the "problem" with Resolve, is that it uses the actual video files. No compression in memory, no proxy data, no nothing like that. All you see is the original footage, and there's no "RAM rendering" or anything like that. This means you'll always be looking at the highest possible quality, but it'll also require more compute power than you can imagine. With medium complexity, the 580 will suffice, but not even the 580 can do high complexity Resolve work. That's why things like the Red Rocket exist. A PCIe card that literally only accelerates video in Resolve (and probably other software). It's damn efficient at it though. Anyway, the whole point of this rant, is if you plan to do vfx
    work and 4k, more power is the golden key

    Yeah. I have the first gen 5k iMac with a Radeon R9 M295X GPU (highest end option at the time). I mean, at least with the high end GPU, it doesn't really stutter or anything, but it's an 8GB GPU, and I often run at around 50% memory usage on the GPU with just basic stuff like have 5 spaces with Mail, Safari, Spotify, etc. (according to iStat Menus). On a 2GB GPU that'd be all of it. And in Final Cut, I wish for more GPU power sometimes with 4k. Hell sometimes even with 1080p if I layer enough effects.

    I'm very confident that for "normal" use, the 575 will do brilliantly. It's still faster than the R9 M295X I mentioned above. But with video work, the more you can throw at it the better.
     
  10. epca12 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    I've always been curious about the graphics in the 5K iMacs, do you know why they were branded as 4GB if they were 8GB? Is it because a portion is used by the 5K display and if so, does the 580 have more than 8GB?
    You could always try out external graphics performance, despite the thunderbolt 2 limit it's still an improvement.
     
  11. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #11
    What do you mean? The GPUs always had the amount of VRAM that they were branded as. The R9 M295X has 4GB exactly like Apple says it does. Not 8.
    The depends which GPU you put in the enclosure and which tasks you put it to. If I were to see an improvement, I'd need something faster than an R9 285 and workloads that don't care so much about latency and more about bandwidth.
    And external graphics are waaaay too expensive right now.
     
  12. Torgo81 macrumors newbie

    Torgo81

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #12
    I think the confusion is because you said "it's an 8GB GPU" which it is not. It is a 4GB GPU (the Radeon R9 M295X)
     
  13. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #13
    Well that was a typo.... Oooops. Sorry
     
  14. epca12 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    That's true but wasn't just that, i've seen spec sheets and review that have said it is 8GB and I didn't understand why, my only theories were that either 4GB was portioned off to ensure smooth running of the 5K display, or that those sources had mixed the card up with the desktop version or a PC mobile variant. But still, I don't know for sure why.

    Regarding external graphics solutions, I completely agree that they are too expensive. When the Razer core was announced I was hoping the price to be around £100 but it ended up being 500. I don't know why I expected 100 but I just thought at that price, there is no reason why you wouldn't want one for your notebook or all-in-one. There arent really many other external enclosures that get everything right and at a price that makes sense
     
  15. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #15

    Well, I can confirm it's definitely 4GB :)

    Yeah. The boxes need cooling, a power supply and logic to route the PCIe connection though, so the BOM cost is not super low either. I understand why they're expensive, but it isn't ideal. And then there's the cost of the GPU too.
     

Share This Page